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7 reasons why you should sell instead of renovate

You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard that confidence in the market is back up, making it a great time right now to sell. But the question is, should you renovate first?From living through weeks of dust and muck and juggling the comings and goings of multiple tradies, to understanding quotes and adhering to council regulations, renovating is not the simple project some might believe.We’ve spoken to celebrity agent from Selling Houses Australia and Love It Or List It Australia, Andrew Winter, to bring you seven reasons why selling could beat renovating when it comes to upgrading where you live.

So put down that sledgehammer, with the autumn selling season upon us and millions more buyers on when compared to last year it could be the perfect time to consider your next move.

1. Moving is a fresh start

There are no two ways about it. There’s nothing like upping stumps and starting fresh to get a new perspective on life.

“For some people, they just want a fresh start. It could be that you’ve fallen out of love with the house, fallen out of love with the area … it’s not always about wanting to renovate or not. You’re over the home and there’s nothing wrong with that,” says Andrew.

Not only will you get to spend time creating great fresh spaces in your new home, but you’ll also get to explore your new local hotspots, cafes and parks, which is great if you’re looking to shake life up.

With so many stunners on the market, you’re sure to find your dream home. Picture:

2. Renovating is hard

While the renovation shows on TV may have you fooled into thinking that renovating is fun and you get to spend your time picking feature tiles and taking cute selfies, the reality is very different.

From having the whole house filled with dust and strangers to not being able to use a kitchen or bathroom, renovating is no glamour project. Trust us, your brain will be stewing over the most minute details at 3am when you’d really rather be sleeping peacefully.

Renovating is very hard, says Andrew. “A good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not you have renovating experience yourself or whether you know of professionals in your family or friend group. If you do then renovating could be a worthwhile undertaking.

“If you haven’t then it can be overly costly.”

If you still want to try your luck then great, but do plenty of research before starting out.

“Define whether you’re renovating to live in it long term or whether you’re planning on moving in the next few years. You can make your forever home completely yours,” Andrew explains.

“If you’re renovating to sell then it’s not about you – it’s about the market. Over capitalising is very easy in the short term even when you know what you’re doing.”

Planning a renovation is mostly about managing time and money so use our renovation calculator to see how much you could be up for with your dream reno.

3. You don’t necessarily need to renovate to improve

If your home is shabby, then by all means, give it a fresh coat of paint, change the cabinet handles and update the window furnishings.

There’s a lot you can do to improve the appearance and liveability of a home without a renovation and many don’t take long or cost much money.

4. You risk over-capitalising

Thinking of a total transformative renovation? Before you break out the jackhammer it pays to educate yourself and do the sums.

If you want your house to be something that is at odds with what the rest of your street looks like, then you might be better off moving or you risk losing money when you do go to sell.

If your neighbourhood is full of quaint historic terraces and you’re dreaming of going completely modern when it comes to selling time, you might struggle to find a buyer. Buyers can sometimes be drawn to a neighbourhood’s traditional appeal.

Better to sell up and find your forever home than risk losing money trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

If you’re unsure, always get to know the value of your place first, then consider whether you might be able to make your life easier to just buy something pre-made.

5. Your needs have drastically changed

If you suddenly find yourself in a situation where your needs – or those of your family – have changed, there may be no real way to meet them with a renovation within the timeframe you need.

“In previous generations, you’d buy a home, extend it and change it to fit your family’s needs,” explains Andrew. “But for a lot of people, they can’t afford the forever home as their first home so they need to go through a few properties before they get the perfect one.”

“On the other hand, sometimes owning a bigger property isn’t warranted, if the kids have moved out and you’re looking to downsize. Your situation doesn’t match anymore so it could be time to move on.”

Maybe you need three more bedrooms when the floorplan is just a modest size? Or maybe you suddenly find that stairs are no longer appropriate for the way your family lives? There could be many reasons a house is suddenly not right, and moving is a much faster way of meeting those needs as opposed to renovating.

If you need to downsize, then a great apartment like this Surry Hills, NSW, pad could be a good idea. Picture:

6. You’d have to deal with body corporate

While apartment and townhouse living is a wonderful option for many, dealing with body corporate to ask for permission to make changes can sometimes be trying at the best of times.

Depending on which state you live in, the laws will differ but generally if the renovation needs a building or planning permit you also need permission from the body corporate too.

While Andrew recommends not being scared off by body corporates they can be more about personalities than regulation. So it pays to ask first and get them onside if you’re planning on making any kind of change.

You must always also keep the exterior in good and serviceable repair, which can be tricky if you’re planning a large-scale change.

7. The grass is sometimes just greener

If you’re living in the inner city but you dream of a sprawling country cottage then no renovation is going to make those dreams come true.

While more and more Australians are embracing renovations as a way of improving their home sometimes the best thing to do is to sell and find that dream place that’s going to make you and your family happier now, without the hassle of a renovation.

Andrew adds that while you might think the grass is greener elsewhere, it often ends up being a completely different shade of green than the one you thought you wanted.

“In my experience, people almost always change their minds and redefine their search criteria during the process of looking for their next place.”

So it pays to keep an open mind when looking for your next home.

Season 13 of Selling Houses Australia premieres, Wednesday March 25 at 8.30pm on LifeStyle.

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